John Landgraf, the President of FX, is not intimated by Netflix. The man who labeled the current era of television Peak TV was a guest on KCRW’s The Business has suggested that the hands on attention that he and FX give their shows make them better than what Netflix turns out.
“Netflix has made 14 shows. Take any 14 shows we’ve made — they’re better. Any 14 shows — on average, our shows are better.”
“By the way, they have made some great shows in that 14,” he continued. “I would be absolutely proud to have made and to program Orange Is the New Black. But the average quality of the shows they put out is not as good as ours, and I think that’s a lack of careful attention.”
That’s a bold claim, but is he right? Maybe.
He said take any 14 FX shows in calculating whether FX is better, and I took the first 14 that came to mind and gave them my subjective score on a scale of 1-10 (note, scores may differ depending on your own personal opinion).
The Americans: 9
The Bastard Executioner: 5
Sons of Anarchy: 7
The Bridge: 7
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: 8.5
Rescue Me: 6.5
The League: 8
(The first two seasons of Nip/Tuck would get an 8. Later seasons a 4).
Average Score: 7.67
Now compare that to my own marks for the 14 original Netflix series (using Rotten Tomatoes for the five that I have not personally seen yet).
House of Cards: 7.5
Hemlock Grove: 4 (based on Rotten Tomatoes score)
Orange is the New Black: 9
Marco Polo: 3 (based on Rotten Tomatoes scores)
Between: 3 (based on Rotten Tomatoes score)
Narcos: 7.5 (based on Rotten Tomatoes score)
Club de Cuervos 7.5 (based on Rotten Tomatoes score)
Bojack Horseman: 9
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: 9
Grace and Frankie: 6
Wet Hot American Summer: 6.5
Average Score: 7.07
So, yes: FX is marginally better than Netflix, based on the shows I selected, though I could’ve chosen You’re the Worst (9) and given it a higher average overall score, or Chozen (3) and given it an average lower overall score.
The point, however, holds: FX is as good or better as Netflix, subjectively speaking. I just wish that FX would provide us with a streaming stand-alone service, so we didn’t have to pay for 120 other channels so that we could watch Fargo.
And now I look forward to having the overall sentiment of this post being ignored while you all rip apart my individual scores for FX and Netflix series. I encourage you to do your own calculations and see if the scores come out differently.